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How Ambien Addiction Begins
Ambien is often prescribed as a sleep aid to treat individuals suffering from insomnia. The drug is habit-forming and can quickly lead to dependency and addiction, even if used according to a physician's instructions. Physical dependence on Ambien can leave the user unable to sleep without it. As the body builds tolerance to the drug, it becomes less effective in promoting sleep. The user may increase the amount they take beyond the prescribed dosage to achieve a stronger effect, or they may begin to take Ambien in combination with alcohol. It is estimated that between a quarter million and a half a million individuals in the United States abuse Ambien and similar sedative drugs.
The Signs of Ambien Addiction
There are a variety of behavioral indicators that point towards Ambien addiction. Regularly taking doses that are larger than prescribed is an early sign of dependence that can lead to addiction. If an individuals develops cravings for Ambien, they may resort to illegal methods to obtain it. Such methods can include spending large amounts of money to obtain the drug, asking others to obtain Ambien for them, and stealing pills from someone who has a prescription. An individual who is addicted to Ambien may begin to withdraw from family, friends, and activities they previously enjoyed. Much of their time may be spent either obtaining more of the drug or abusing it. It is a sign of addiction when an individual continues use of Ambien even when it begins to harm them socially, physically, emotionally, or financially.
Dangers of Ambien Addiction
Ambien addiction can lead to abuse of the drug. Abuse of ambien can have a variety of harmful physical effects. An Ambien overdose can cause the heart rate to slow. If Ambien is taken with alcohol, the effect on the heart rate can be even more severe than normal, which may lead to coma. By 2010, there were over 19,000 emergency room visits in the United States due to complications caused by Ambien abuse.
Anyone suffering from Ambien addiction must seek care in a professional medical setting. They should not suddenly stop taking the drug; sudden cessation of Ambien use after developing tolerance for it can lead to severe withdrawal. In extreme cases, withdrawal can cause seizures. A physician can help an Ambien user slowly lower their dosage until they can stop taking it completely. To treat the root causes of their addiction, an individual should seek professional therapy services while they gradually lower their dosage. Such therapy can address the psychological aspects which contribute to addiction.
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